Mon, Sep 26, 2016 - Page 14 News List

IFC and Canada to finance Jordan’s latest solar farm


International Finance Corp (IFC) and the Canadian government helped fund a US$76 million solar power project in Jordan, which is seeking to curb its reliance on expensive natural gas imports and fuel a growing population.

IFC, a member of World Bank Group, arranged the financing package for a 50-megawatt project in the city of Mafraq, which also includes support from Dutch development bank FMO, Europe Arab Bank and FinnFund, according to an e-mailed statement from IFC released yesterday.

Developed by San Francisco-based Fotowatio Renewable Ventures Inc, a unit of Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel Energy & Environmental Services, the plant is due to come online in 2018 and is the first to secure financing of four winning bidders from the government’s latest solar auction round.

Jordan has an ambitious agenda for renewable energy, spurred partly by a massive influx of refugees from Syria straining the nation’s infrastructure.

An energy-supply crunch caused by disruptions of fuel imports from Egypt has also tested the country.

Jordan is expected to reach 310 megawatts of installed photovoltaic capacity at the end of this year, up from 50 megawatts last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The solar projects will help cut costs. All four projects that won contracts in the second auction round will deliver power at between US$0.061 per kWh and US$0.077 per kWh, BNEF said.

The Dutch development bank FMO provided US$12 million, the Europe Arab Bank provided US$8 million, FinnFund provided US$5 million and the IFC-Canada Climate Change program contributed US$2.4 million in a C-loan.

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